InstaStories: How to Use Instagram Stories to Elevate Your Business

  • Instagram is the second largest social media platform, coming in just behind Facebook.
  • InstaStories only last for 24 hours.
  • Instagram Stories allow you to bring authenticity and vulnerability to your digital footprint.
  • Business is all about the human to human (H2H) relationship.
  • Use InstaStories to broaden the topics you share with your audience.

Doing business is really all about the human-to- human (H2H) relationship. People are seeking real connections with those they may choose to do business with. Through using Stories in Instagram, you can get people to know, like and trust you.

  • A newbie’s insight into Instagram’s basic features – 01:49
  • How to create an InstaStory – 02:40
  • Why Instagram Stories are so good for business – 04:08
  • The importance behind showing people who you really are – 06:30
  • InstaStories allow you to bring greater variety into your online presence – 10:22
  • What to post about on Instagram – 11:50
  • Take Teresa’s InstaStory challenge! – 13:07
Transcript below


Hello and a really warm welcome to this week's episode of the Social Media Marketing Made Simple podcast, thank you so much for joining me, I really do appreciate it. I really hope that you are enjoying the content that we're putting together. My main aim is to work with entrepreneurs, business owners and marketers like yourself in order to help you improve your marketing using social media for your business.

So this week is a topic that I am super excited about. I love Instagram. Now, if you're not following me on Instagram please head over and find me. Just type Teresa Heath Wareing and I'll be there. I love it and I also think the potential for Instagram is huge. If you don't know, Instagram is the second largest platform that's out there. Facebook being the first. It's also owned by Facebook so all of the cool, amazing features that you have on Facebook in terms of advertising, you also have in Instagram as well.

But the bit that I want to talk about today is InstaStories. Instagram Stories. I think that this a great way for you to be able to reach out to a tuck audience and use it for your business. And I want to talk you through I think you can be doing that. But, before I jump in to telling you how I think Instagram Stories is so good for your business, I want to tell you a little bit about what is, in case it's something that you've not seen before, or you don't know about.

Let me explain the features.


A newbie’s insight into Instagram’s basic features


First off, when you go Instagram app you will notice, that if you're looking at your feed that there will be pictures and profiles of people with kind of multicoloured circles around them at the top of your feed. This is where you're going to find other people's Instagram Stories. If you tap that you'll be taken to a full screen image on your phone, and it will be a story that's playing. Now it can be an image or a video or something called a boomerang, but basically it's kind of snippets of little bits of information that that person has decided to put out there.

It's important to know that the information their putting in their Instastories will only last for 24 hours and then it disappears. It also won't appear in the grid where your normal Instagram posts are seen.


How to create an InstaStory


So if you want to an Instastory, you go to your main feed, and you swipe to the right where you will be taken to camera mode, and you're going to be able to record and take photos for Instagram Stories then. Because I don't want to take too much time on this podcast explaining how to do Instastories and also I find visual things so much easier. It's quite hard to explain what I mean on a podcast rather than just showing you in a video. If you go to, look at the show notes, and you will find a link to a video that shows you how to do an Instagram Story. And, don't worry if you're completely brand new to this, no problem, I've got you.

So in the Instagram story video I have included things like how to record a video, take photos, how to upload your own photos. Then once you've got a photo, how to add text. The different types of text you can add, the different colours you can choose. How to colour pic a colour that's in the photo, that's super cool. The how to tag other people, put in a gif and also things like how to add locations. So no problem if you're brand new to it, like I said, head over to and download.

Okay, so we have the basics of how to get started, and you're going to head over and get the video, so you know what to do on the actual app.


Why Instagram Stories are so good for business


But why do I think it's so good for business? Let me start by talking to you about the two buzzwords I have heard over and over and over again for the past probably 12 – 18 months. They are authenticity and vulnerability, Authenticity has been talked about a huge amount when it comes to business. Basically what this is alluding to is the more the world get digital the more that we apparently get further away from each other because we're in this digital world rather than walking into a shop and speaking to someone. The more we want to know about people the more I want to be confident that if I'm going to come and buy from you, or if I'm going to employ your services or engage in your social media that you are a real person.

Now one of the other ways that I have suggested in which you can show your authenticity is through live video. And I know that when I talk about live video people just clam up, and they don't want to do it and it scares them, and I totally get that. I feel the same way. So if I were to turn around to you tomorrow and said, “Can you get on Facebook and do a live video for 20 minutes?” Or, if I were to say, “Can you do a 15 second little snippet of you or your day or something that you're doing?” Which one do you think you'd feel more comfortable in doing. Absolutely, the 15 second snippet, and that's what Instastories is doing.

It's allowing you to go on and do very short videos or pictures or boomerangs about your day and what it is that you do and who you are. It allows the viewer to see the real person behind the business or behind the personality and it gives them something that they can engage with. It makes you feel like you're in that person's world or that you are almost becoming friends with them. And this probably sounds a little bit weird right now, I apologise, but actually, I don't know about you, but kind of imagine celebrity status where you feel like you know them because you've seen so much of them, and that's what an Instastory is allowing you to do, It's allowing you to show a bit of your world to people so that they can engage with you.


The importance behind showing people who you really are


The reason we want to do this, the reason we want to show them what we're doing in our day or who we are is because of the fact that people buy of people. I've been to so many conferences where they use the line “It's not B to B, it's not B to C, it's H to H, human to human.” Alright it's a little bit cheesy but, it's true. We buy off people, we are human buying off other humans. And if I can get to know you, then I am more likely to build a bond with you. So yesterday, I'm going to give you an example. I was watching a live webinar from Jasmine Star, if you haven't seen her, then go check her out because she's awesome. She's all about Instagram, she's a photographer, she is really killing it over there. But I watched this webinar and I knew at the end of the webinar Jasmine was going to be selling something, it was going to be a course or a group or something that would help my business.

Now I have watched Jasmine over a long time. I watch her Instastories, I've met her when I was in San Diego and I have really become to like her and trust her and feel like I know her. Before the webinar was even up, I went and got my purse and I sat there with my card in hand, I am not kidding you. I didn't know, A. What she was selling, or B. How much it was going to cost. And I had my card in my hand and I was ready to buy from her and the minute she said, this is what I'm going to sell, this is how much it is going to cost, I put my details in and I bought it.

Now you might be sitting there thinking, you've got more money than sense. I can assure you that isn't the case, but what I'm trying to prove to you is because I had seen her so much, because she had shown much of her, what's she's like, who she is, I've become to really like her and thought that she was a really nice person, she did really good content and I could really resinate with here, and therefore when she had something that she was telling me was going to help my business I trusted her implicitly.

Now I have bought it, I took a quick look last night and it does look awesome and we'll soon see because it's all about Instagram. So if you go check me out over on Instagram then you'll see whether I'm making improvements or not. But I am just trying to prove the point that even though it might seem completely stupid and sometimes it feels like that to me as well, that you're Instagramming or you're putting on Instastories, oh look, I've just woken up, oh look, I'm having a coffee, oh look, I'm setting up for my podcast. Although sometimes it can feel like what on earth am I doing and who cares. Actually, do you know what? Stick with it because there is going to be someone out there thinking, oh that's cool, I've always wanted to do a podcast and I didn't realise it was as easy as putting a mic in front of your screen and putting two massive cushions either side of you to help suck up the same.

Like I said it might feel like this is all a bit ridiculous but I promise you it really is a great tool in terms of getting people to engage with you and getting them to know, like and trust you. And we don't buy from someone until we know, like and trust them.

The next reason I think it's so good for your business is because it's a very low investment thing, not only for you but also the person watching. I don't have to sit there and take in a webinar or a huge blog post or watch a really long Facebook live to get to know you. I can literally go onto my phone and be flicking through Instagram Stories and get snippets of you every single day that are lasting less than a few minutes tops. So for me I think it's a great way of demonstrating who you are. Getting people to engage with you without having to invest huge amounts of time for yourself and other people.


InstaStories allow you to bring greater variety into your online presence


The other thing I like about it is that you can be a bit fun, a bit different. You can mess around with the type of things you are doing on there to make it that bit more engaging for people to watch.

So, you don't have to be as professional. Now obviously remember there's always a tone of voice in which you or your business has to adhere to, but because it is an Instastory because it goes after 24 hours, because it is little snippets into your world you can be a little bit more quirky, a little bit more fun, and like I said show a bit more of your personal side on it. So for instance, if I was going away for the weekend or if I'm going to have drinks with friends or if I'm doing something with my daughter then I would probably show that on Instastory, that wouldn't bother me, whereas I wouldn't necessarily go and post that as a Facebook post or write a blog post about it. I wouldn't do a live about me going out for the day with my daughter. On Instagram Stories, like I said it's really short, it's really un-intrusive and you just show a little bit about your day and actually people engage with that sort of stuff.

People will DM you, they will send you a message, oh yeah, I went there, or I did that, oh yeah, that's such a good idea. I never though of that. Again it's really, really useful as an engagement tool. I really hope that you can see why I think this is a cool tool for engagement and showing your authenticity and I really hope I've inspired you to get going.


What to post about on Instagram


But I know what you're going to ask me “What do I post about?” this is always the biggest challenge, or one of the biggest challenges on social media, content.

Now with Instagram Stories go for your life, whatever you want to post about. To give you a few ideas I will do things like, I follow my day through, so in the morning I might show my cup of coffee and say good morning or post that I'm getting started. Today for instance I put a picture up of the street where I live, or the road where I live, because it's the greatest horribleness day ever and I'm so sick of it, so I put a post up this morning that was like, wow, then is the sun coming? I also then posted to say that I was recording this podcast. I might post later on in the day something about the podcast that's out this week. I might talk about a latest blog post. So you can do a real mix of business things and also personal things. My daughter is due back with me later on today so I might put a post up about her.

So like I said, whatever you think really, you can check quotes, you can write just things, you can take photos, you can do videos. You can do quirky boomerangs. I encourage you to use your imagination and see what you can come up with.


Take Teresa’s InstaStory challenge!


And to get you started I'm going to set you a challenge. What I would like you to do is if you are listening to this podcast, I would like you to take a screenshot of the podcast on your screen if it's on your phone or a photo of it if you're listening on a computer and I want you to put that up as an Instastory and I want you to tag me in it. So if you're tagging someone you put the @ symbol and then you start typing their Instagram name.

Mine is @teresa_heathwareing, teresa, underscore heathwareing, which is all one word no hyphen so heathwaring, please tag me in it and then I will share your story on my timeline and to my followers. I'd love to see what you can come up with and I really hope that you've enjoyed today's podcast. I have loved talking about it. Like I said, my focus is going to be really on Instagram and Instagram Stories. So I really do hope that I've inspired you to get started and that I have encouraged you to come and follow me and see what I do.

As always, thank you so very much for listening. Until next time, take care.